From mild skeptics to almost geeks

Beth Werner

The managers’ commitment to avoiding water waste and water damage in municipal institutions and buildings slowly but surely rubbed off on the technical service staff in Frederikssund Municipality.

Slangerup School was originally built in 1972, but has been extended several times, most recently in 2001, when the school’s Kingo Department was built.

For district manager Mette Moser Nielsen, who has worked at Slangerup School in Frederikssund Municipality for the past six years, the leakage protection systems installed on the school’s district heating and domestic hot water systems provide great security and safety on a daily basis.


Mette Moser Nielsen is based at the school’s Kingo department, where 7. 8. and 9th grades and a smaller The 10th grade has a total of 200 pupils and 21-25 teachers. The leak protection was installed a couple of years ago and in addition to helping to protect the school from water damage and water spillage, it has also had a very positive side effect.

– As our technical service employees have become more and more familiar with the leakage protection systems and have experienced all the possibilities the systems offer and the damage they can prevent, they have almost become nerds, says Mette Moser Nielsen.

Both Johnny Simonsen and Mette Moser are impressed by how sensitive the leak detection systems are. Mette Moser says: “Right now we have three leaks on the radiator circuits, but these are seepages of a magnitude that we can’t even see with the naked eye. But the leaks are there.”

In the Slangerup district, where Mette Moser Nielsen is district manager, seven service employees are employed. While a total of 55 service staff are employed in the four districts into which the municipality’s Technical Service Corps is divided.

No longer a matter of simply pressing the reset button

Mette Moser Nielsen’s colleague and the municipality’s security coordinator, Johnny Simonsen, based at the administration center in Slangerup, adds:

– Especially in connection with the pilot project in 2015, when the first leakage protection systems were installed in one of the municipality’s town halls and in a couple of kindergartens, I received a steady stream of emails from slightly frustrated technical service employees. They were quite annoyed by the alarms and the constant rebooting of the systems, Johnny Simonsen recalls, adding:


– Employees’ frustrations were actually quite natural and understandable. New and unfamiliar technology has to be learned. And today we have come a very long way. We have some fantastically dedicated district managers in the Technical Service Corps, who have been good at raising the employees’ interest in what lies behind the alarms that the system sends out. So, from simply pressing the reset button, it has become a sport to find the leak or the cause of the excessive water consumption indicated by the alarm.


Relocation not without consequences

Frederikssund Municipality, like many other municipalities in Denmark, has an older building stock. All things being equal, water and district heating pipes laid decades ago increase the risk of corrosion and burst pipes causing major damage. Both on the buildings themselves, but certainly also for the users of the buildings.

– We have experienced water damage to some of our buildings, to the extent that we had to relocate the users, explains Johnny Simonsen and emphasizes further:

– Theoretically, rehousing is about moving users from one physical unit to another, but the reality is quite different. Young children in kindergarten, or pupils in a special needs institution, or elderly people in a nursing home are used to and comfortable in their familiar surroundings, so relocation is certainly not without consequences for these groups.

About halfway with leak proofing

When Johnny Simonsen was appointed security coordinator in 2013, one of his first actions was to develop a security strategy, which included leak-proofing the municipal buildings.

– We have come a long way since we installed the first leak detection systems in 2015. Today, we have around 100 sites, spread across the municipality’s town halls, schools, daycare centers, care centers and clubhouses. I would guess that we have secured about half of the square meters covered by the municipal building stock. So there is still some way to go, but we will keep going until we reach the finish line,” says Johnny Simonsen.


Pipe assemblies made of different metals, and where the composition of materials in the individual metals is not correct, have a pronounced inherent risk of corrosion, explains Mette Moser Nielsen.

Relevant contact persons:

Jesper Wentzlau, Project Consultant, DanTaet a/s, tel. 6317 4512, e-mail:

Johnny Simonsen, Security Coordinator, Frederikssund Municipality, tel. 4735 2423

Mette Moser Nielsen, District Manager, District Slangerup, Frederikssund Municipality, tel. +45 2467 9076